Woman sues electrician for debt harassment

By Kelly Holleran | Mar 5, 2012

A Jefferson County woman has filed suit against the electric company that she claims engaged in illegal actions in an attempt to collect debt from her.

Melanie LeBlanc claims defendant Gold Crest Electric Co. utilized numerous "unconscionable" actions in an attempt to collect money from her, including visiting her parents' house to demand the alleged debt.

LeBlanc's troubles with Gold Crest began in 2001, when the company filed a lawsuit against her and obtained a judgment in its favor, according to the complaint filed Feb. 28 in Jefferson County District Court.

In 2011, LeBlanc requested a way to pay off the debt owed to the company. Gold Crest agreed to accept $14,655.73 from LeBlanc, which she repaid in a $7,441.16 payment on June 7 and in a $7,214.57 payment on June 28, the suit states. Afterward, Gold Crest told LeBlanc she was clear of all debts, the complaint says.

Despite Gold Crest's representations, it continued to try to collect the alleged debt from her, she claims.

"Defendant made misrepresentations of fact, specifically, that plaintiff did not discharge the debt," the suit states.

Gold Crest began filing legal proceedings against LeBlanc and made numerous attempts to contact her, the complaint says.

"Defendant's agent went to the residence of plaintiff's parents on a weekend, and continuously and repeatedly beat on the door even after the agent was notified that the plaintiff was not present and that they were not authorized to accept service," the suit states.

In her complaint, LeBlanc says Gold Crest violated the Texas Debt Collections Practices Act by using threats in an attempt to collect money and by using profane language in its attempts to collect debts, among numerous other acts.

She is seeking actual damages, plus statutory penalties, attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just.

Clay Dugas and Mike JacobEllis of Clay Dugas and Associates in Beaumont will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E192-024

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